Mark Webber does not think Jean-Eric Vergne’s mistake in front of him at the end of Italian Grand Prix qualifying cost him pole.
The Australian was on a better lap late in Q3 when Vergne’s Toro Rosso slid through the gravel at the Parabolica. Webber’s Red Bull was the next car on the scene and lost time in the ensuing dust cloud, remaining second behind teammate Sebastian Vettel. But Webber felt Vettel’s final 1m23.755s lap, which he trailed by 0.213 seconds, was out of reach anyway.
“JEV went off at the Parabolica on the last lap and in the dust I couldn’t see if he had just put a wheel off and was continuing on the circuit or where he’d gone,” said Webber. “Then when I got around I saw he was in the gravel. So it cost me, but it wasn’t enough for me to get Seb.”
In addition to the pole boost, Vettel also saw main championship rivals Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton qualify only fifth, 11th and 12th. But the German played down the advantage he would get from the qualifying results, pointing out that Sergio Perez finished second for Sauber from 12th on the grid last year.
“We know how quickly things can change,” said Vettel. “Sergio had a fantastic race coming through with an opposite strategy. At least we got our job done but our main job comes up tomorrow.
“Felipe [Massa] is P4, Ferrari was strong in every race this year and they will be strong as well tomorrow.”